Apple Employee Over Leaks: “Apple’s Secrecy Mode Is Really Outdated”


According to a bunch of Apple employees who spoke to Ars Technica over anonymity and growing trend of leaks before product launches, Apple’s outdated security measures and overseas suppliers are the two major factors responsible (via The Verge).

Apple employees believe the majority of leaks that got splashed across the web before recent product launches, including the iPhone 5, didn’t originate within Apple corporate but came from somewhere within Apple’s lengthy global supply chain. Apple’s Cupertino headquarters employees said that suppliers overseas don’t have the same level of loyalty or sense of accomplishment at creating interesting new products, like they do.

“Apple’s security practices are targeted at making sure US employees don’t leak stuff, but everything comes out of China now,” one employee told Ars. “I think Apple’s secrecy mode is really outdated.”

“Clearly, the people who need the security training are not here” said another. “They’re not getting the same level of scrutiny as we are, and it shows.”

“You’ve got thousands of people working on manufacturing something who have no vested interest in keeping it secret,” one employee said, adding that he believes leaks will continue to increase as Apple ramps up overseas manufacturing operations.

The employees added that since Apple doesn’t manufacture anything in the US, it may be hard to surprise people over anything in the future.

Are you expecting any surprises at tomorrow’s media event?


  • einsteinbqat

    That’s exactly what I have been saying for a while! There are no more surprises. We all know in advance. And it gets boring!

  • John

    Is it that the security mode is outdated or that Mr. Jobs is no longer in control?

  • It has nothing to do with Jobs’ absence. The iPad, the nano and the MBA all got leaked WELL before announcement. And that’s not even counting the iPhone 4 fiasco.

    It has everything to do with massproduction across multiple suppliers in amounts that Apple has never done before and everyone who works at these facilities wanting to make a buck off the leak’s reveal. There are leaks because way more people want them than there used to be. That means someone will pay a lot of money for exclusives and there are more opportunities than ever before to get away with it. Way to many eyes and hands from other companies to stop it. They really should create their own assembly plant. the cost would be high but would pay off immeasurably accross the board.

  • aRhyno

    if your bored of no surprise, then don’t read/look at the spoilers. just like a movie you anticipate, why watch the trailer.

  • Jay

    Heres a wild thought…. Announce the phone THEN start production….
    Just announce the phone earlier, they obviously had the iphone 5 done long before they announced it

  • MleB1

    ‘Leaks’ are a great way to build user interest, especially to the hyper-ventilating Apple crowd. if the Company was as locked down as the reputation they put out suggests, chances are pretty good consumers would not find their products as compelling. But snippets of info (or the occasional ‘forgotten’ beta product left at a bar) only heightens interest and gives Apple – thru the feedback on these leaks – a better idea what is going to sell.

    Don’t kid yourselves – if Apple didn’t want product info to get out, it wouldn’t. And if they didn’t care, there would not be value in the ‘leaks’.

  • slicecom

    That will cannibalize sales even more than the leaks do.

  • K3

    ?????? Maybe that Oregon data centre will include additional purchase of land for the US factory production of iOS devices. Would that help solve the secrecy problem?

  • That’s impossible to do, unless you live in a cave.

  • Apple does feed certain friendly news outlets, primarily the WSJ.

  • Leaks also occurred when Jobs was IN control. I agree with Roberto, way too many people produce parts for the iPhone compared to 4-5 years ago. It’s impossible to keep quiet now.

  • einsteinbqat

    This is complete rubbish. I may as well go live in a bunker without any possible contact to the outside world while we are at it!

    Do you honestly think that there is no other possible way to hear, see, read about it? You can’t possibly hear it on the radio or on podcasts, or see on TV, or read it in newspapers, right? Am I suppose to go run and hide whenever possible news about Apple products may arise?

    Controlled leaks to build up hype, excitement, anticipation, that’s all fine. I have no problem whatsoever with that. However, this is just now out of control. We all know about the product even before the product is actually announced.

    Part of the excitement is to know what the product will look like and all. Now, what do we have to wonder about? When is the product released, and at what price because we all know what it looks like. How exciting is that?

    Do you remember the times when Steve Jobs presented us with new products? We had no idea what they would look like. Leaks were pointing in all kinds of directions, and when we actually get to see the products we would be in complete awe, and the crowd would go crazy in applause. Now go watch the announcement of the iPhone 5. Barely any reaction even if Tim Cook tried his best to tell us how extraordinary the iPhone 5 is. We all knew what it would look like. What’s left to react to?

    I am well aware that with the current supply chain it is very difficult to stop or control leaks. However, my point still stand. So, yes it’s getting boring because there are so many leaks, that there are just no more oooh and awwws. People and media can leak as much details about future Apple products as they want. I don’t care. What I find unfortunate is that there is no more surprise element left when the actual product is launched.


  • I think hardware-wise, there’s not much Apple can do anymore to keep the utmost secrecy, unless it’s brand new product announcements like the iPhone and iPad where they announce the product three months before it becomes available.

    I think where Apple still has a chance at surprising us with features, however, is on the software side of things. They still get to be the ones to wow us with the introduction of those features. Unfortunately most of those introductions are followed by a beta testing phase, so again, they can’t just announce something that blows our minds and make it available instantly, but at least they get to be the ones doing the reveal.

  • Brian

    Could also be that the iPhone 5 is the same as the iPhone 4S, which was the same as the iPhone 4. The first iPhone was a big deal, the iPhone 4 was a big deal, but they’re really coasting on fumes as far as innovation goes for the past couple years, typically at least one life-cycle behind on key upgrades such as LTE, GPS Navigation, screen size, and NFC. And apparently the iPhone is still not technologically advanced enough to handle widgets, haha.

  • yep and in the early days of iOS devices, only Apple fans cared what Apple was creating. Even the first iPhone had low production numbers and less people interested pre-release. No one really cared, or at the very least . Now that the whole product line is on people’s radar and there are so many people working on them. what can you do while out-sourcing?

  • All Apple can do now is control their software innovations. 5 years ago they weren’t even close to being the world’s largest company. Now, they’re the ones to beat while RIM and Nokia suffer from their arrogance and lack of reality.

  • Actually, no. The production ramped up a few weeks before they were available. That’s why it’s impossible to get one now (the wait is ridiculous). IF they pre-anounce but can’t deliver quickly they run the risk losing out on sales and claims to cutting edge features. If apple had waited three months to deliver the iPhone 4, you can almost guarantee that a competitior would have matched the retina screen (you can replace this feature with any one from any iPhone to date) by the time it came out. in Tech it is imperitive that you get the products out in peoples hands as soon as it’s in their contiousness. People WILL forget because there is always something new coming out. you need to strike while the desire for it is at a peak, or you become BB10.

  • BrianIsRetarded

    If you actually think the iPhone 5 is the same as the 4S you need to get out of here. No-one cares about Android shit… thats great you like it but get out of here and get a life.

  • How is it a generation behind, when it is about 50% faster than the next fastest phone on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S III? There is literally no phone on the market as powerful, with as many available apps, or as many available high quality apps. If you think Apple abstaining from using last years battery hog LTE chip left the iPhone a generation behind, you truly don’t understand the complexity of current mobile devices.